15 September 2021

Main Reasons to Apply to the PHmuseum 2021 Women Photographers Grant

15 September 2021 - Written by PhMuseum

From learning how to prepare your work for open calls, to participate in a career-changing initiative, there are main motivations to participate in this fifth edition.

© Naomieh Jovin

In its young history, the PHmuseum Women Photographers Grant already awarded recognized photographers and rising talents such as Laura El-Tantawy, Sanne De Wilde, Natalie Keyssar, Raphaela Rosella, Fabiola Cedillo, Maria Sturm, and Heba Khamis. Its former fourth editions counted on jurors such as Alessia Glaviano (Vogue Italia), Magdalena Herrera (GEO France), River Bullock (MoMA), Pamela Chen (Instagram), Alessandra Sanguinetti (Magnum Photo), and Donna Ferrato. Quality, credibility, and support are values that we are striving to develop over time. We hope you will join us in this journey for these many reasons.

1. JOIN THE CONVERSATION / We start from this point every year because it's likely the most relevant. The PHmuseum Women Photographers Grant is not just about the individual prizes. It's about joining a collective conversation and giving your contribution in sharing what female and non-binary contemporary gaze are to an industry historically dominated by the male professionals and their point of view. Every year our open call represents an occasion to showcase women's works and publish related contents to stimulate and renew the debate. We are living a historical transition and every single application matters to support change.

2. LEARN AND BE SELF-CRITICAL / Presenting your work is a great opportunity to see where you are with your work. Is it at an early stage? Think carefully, maybe it’s worth continuing to work on it and apply the next time. Have you been working on it for a while? It might be a good moment to create a first edit, get feedback, and try to secure some funds to bring it ahead. Is it ready to go? Well, just go for it without being afraid of trying. Applying represents an effective way to follow the grant from the beginning to the end, review the shortlisted and awarded projects, read the judges motivations. It's a good occasion to motivate yourself, get inspiration and learn from other applicants' projects. A momento to be self-critical, learn, and improve as a photographer.

3. FUNDING / This grant is not only meant to support you through exhibitions, press and educational opportunities but offer a solid cash prizes that you can invest in the way you consider more proper. Over the years we have seen prize recipients completing a project or starting a new one thanks to the cash money secured. Other were able to publish their work in a photobook or invest the money in education and equipments. The $12,000 cash split among the four top-winners represents a solid base to bring ahead your independent practice, and among the highest funds offered by independent organisations.

© Mirjam Stenevik

4. CONNECTIONS / This year independent jury comprises professional who work for Centre Pompidou, FOAM, and TIME Magazine. Moreover, Alessia Glaviano and her team at Vogue Italia will review all the submissions to assign their prizes. Fotografas Latam, Foto-Feminas, Firecracker, and Femgrafia are the many outstanding supporters who support female photographers as main mission. All these industry leaders will have their eyes on the open call and applying represents a straight gateway to get their attention.

5. EXHIBITING / PHmuseum opened its own space in Bologna to host exhibitions. After Caimi & Piccinni's Güle Güle (September 2020) Maria Lax's Some Kind of Heavenly Fire (June 2021) and Synchrodogs' Slightly Altered (October 2021), we are keen to discover a new project from this open call to exhibit at the PHmuseum Lab. We will cover for the show production and travel expenses. In this was the show will be a great opportunity to discover our gallery, meet our team and most importantly connect with our audience in first person while adding an important milestone for your CV.

6. REPUTATION / Over the past 8 years we have worked hard to stand out among the many photo grants and awards by striving to understand how photographers can benefit from this kind of opportunities. Year after year we have improved our offering and the network of people and industry leaders who follow our platform, which is now considered of the most respected on the international scene. Thanks to the reputation we are building year after year, you can not only trust our grants program but also know that your reputation will strongly benefit from being recognised within a prestigious open call followed by many photographers and industry leaders.

© Sophie Gabrielle

7. EXPOSURE / If the main prize winners get extensive press on international media, many more applicants benefit from having applied. Every year we feature more than 200 photographers on PHmuseum, plus 500 photographers on our Instagram and Facebook accounts. With 600,000 visitors annually and around 150,000 people who follow us on social media, we strive to give exposure to the photographers who are part of PHmuseum and support them in sharing their work with our international audience. Our platform is meant to grant visibility and help you in building an international audience for your work. Our grants program is the main channel through which we discover new projects and the same goes for the many curators, photo editors, gallerists, and publishers who follow our platform. Plus, we now also run a photography festival called PHmuseum Days, and guess where our team research starts from.

8. SUPPORT PHMUSEUM / Our young independent team runs an extensive series of free online curated contents such as online exhibitions, articles, and social media features. We also offer cool free resources such as the awards list, the festivals guide, and the stories archive. PHmuseum is the results of a collective effort. When you apply to our open call you contribute in the project development and tell us that we are on the right path.

9. YOU HAVE TO TRY / It's only with hard work and a continue effort that you can grow as a professional. Getting your work recognised by an important panel of judges is a great motivation to keep developing your practice. We know how much hard work there is behind your projects, and how many talented photographers there are today. Even if sometimes you feel you have tried enough or that you are not ready yet, we recommend you to keep applying, accepting that failure is part of the career of all of us. As the hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky once said, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take.


The PHmuseum Women Photographers Grant is currently open for submssions. With no age limitations its aim is to empower the work and careers of female and non-binary professionals of all ages and from all countries working in diverse areas of photography. To learn more and apply, visit Final Deadline: 7 October

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